Monday, August 27, 2012

Lake Norman Sprint

S - 13,800 yards
B - 161.8 miles
R - 52.4 miles
Time - 18.3 hours

Not a bad week considering there was a sprint triathlon in the middle of it.  Finally (what feels like it anyway) had a good week of swim volume.  After two weeks off (one week without the chance to swim and one week with excuses) I definitely needed it.  Slogged through a SCY set on Monday, dogged through a LCM set on Tuesday and managed to have a decent LCM swim on Thursday.  A couple of good bike rides and lots of good running (every day this week I think?) led into Lake Norman.

This race didn't look to be nearly as competitive as Latta/Stumpy but with Donny and Sebastien in the field that's enough to make it interesting.  I figured I should beat both but on race day you never know what can happen. Plus, there's always the chance someone random shows up (although at this point I'm not really worried about the randoms).  I also noticed Jeff Murray was racing for the first time in a couple of years and since he's a multiple national champion in 2012 I figured he'd probably set the bar pretty high during the swim.

The one mishap I had was after parking about a mile away from the race site I proceeded to pump up my rear tire successfully, subsequently moving on to my front wheel.  When I pushed the pump head onto the valve stem all the air let out of the tube and it was un-pump-able.  After a brief panic I called Ashley to ask him to bring his front race wheel since I knew he was coming to watch; he agreed and so the mild crisis was averted.  I still would have preferred my lovely Beyond Black Zipp 808, however.  Alas.

Swim 750m in 10:42 (3rd)

As we all lined up at the buoy for the in water start, I knew what my strategy was for this race: balls to the wall to the first buoy.  Pretty simple.  I noticed Donny was lined up behind me and Sebastien to my left and so with 10s to go I quickly moved over to the left in order to get some "clear water." At the sound of the horn, I took off at a very high effort.  I basically swam like I was doing a 500 TT; I was even kicking! (I never kick, really).  Unfortunately this nearly induced a panic attack with such a fast start but I was able to quell my feelings (almost like a sense of claustrophobia? it's weird) and carry on to the first buoy.  After the turn I looked back and saw I had a decent gap on what appeared to be three "chasers." Jeff was still a ways ahead and at the second turn to come back I could just see him in the glare of the sun.  It was tough to sight coming back but I knew just staying parallel to the shore would get the job done.  I settled in at this point to a more manageable pace and carried on to the last buoy, where after turning I looked behind and saw that my gap had grown a bit.  Happily, I exited the water in second and sprinted up the hill towards T1.

T1 in 1:25 (7th)

The run to T1 is pretty long and as I got to my bike Jeff was just running away with his.  I put on my helmet and headed out pretty quickly.

Bike 17.9 miles in 43:46 (2nd)

Heading out on the bike I was curious as to how my legs would feel.  The first hill up out of T1 was a good test and unfortunately, I could not tell how the leggies would do for the next 17 miles.  I caught Jeff pretty quickly through town and then put my head down to try and gain some speed.  I was thinking this course would be like Latta but it was definitely a little "harder'' than Latta.  I didn't see anyone behind me for quite some time although I figured there would be someone there.  After a while (mile 10ish?) I could see someone behind me.  I couldn't tell whether they were catching me or we were just on straighter roads at this point.  After another mile or two, it became clear that yes, whoever it was, was definitely gaining on me.  After a bit more, I could tell it was Donny (luckily no one else came with him).  He passed me on an uphill and I could tell why: because he rides so dang hard.  For the rest of the bike it was Donny absolutely crushing the uphills (400+ watts and I'm losing ground) and me flying by him on the flats/downhills.  We got back into town and were diverted onto some side streets to avoid prime time downtown traffic and this section was a bit annoying but definitely safer than dodging cars.  We made it back into T2 with Donny just ahead.

T2 in :49 (2nd)

Rolled into T2 just behind Donny and we made it to our rack at the same time.  I took off my helmet, shoved on my shoes, grabbed my belt and shades then headed out up the hill onto the run.  Donny had to pump fake as he forgot his number, losing a little time there.

Run 5k in 17:31 (2nd)

I ran up the hill out of T2 at a very high rate of speed and gapped Donny initially, which luckily held to the end.  This course was very twisty and turny and so it was tough to get into a good rhythm.  I still managed to push the pace well though and felt pretty strong through to the finish.  Donny stayed within sight the whole time and I never quite shook him.  It seemed as though he made a brief surge around mile 3 but it may have been me imagining things.  I ran across the finish line for the W.  Woohoo

1st OA in 1:14:10

I was pleased with this race and it was interesting to note that it continued my trend of two good splits and one not so great split.  My watts were real low on the bike but my swim and run were quite strong soooo, can't complain too much.  Brian told me at the beginning of the year that year #2 would have a lot of that, which I found odd at the time but am now beginning to fully appreciate how smart he is.  Or at least, he talks smart.  Both are equally important.

The cool thing about this race was that it meant I am now three for three in Charlotte area sprints.  I don't count Cool Breeze.  Huntersville, Latta, and Lake Norman were all Ws for me, Latta and LKN were both wins overall for ICE Racing (Melissa took the women's overall win!).  Pretty good season for ICE so far and it's not even over!

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